Certain Dark Things is a long running series of paintings named from a line in Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII. “I love you as Certain Dark Things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” I worked from the English translation by Stephen Tapscott from the original Spanish version from One Hundred Love Sonnets, 1959.
The poem is the scaffolding for the abstract visual language I have developed over a span of ten years, exploring themes of protection, personal power, love and connection. It has led me to an interest in architecture and industrial forms, using paint to emulate textures like cement, metal, and bark. I’m interested in translation and adaptation, painting and poetry, and the space in between, where words and objects commune and shape-shift into new ideas.
The poem has become like a prayer and mantra in the studio. I see it as a form, a physical pile of words that is embedded within each painting. It is a still life, a north star and comrade. It is the catalyst for the replication of form and texture that continues to propel my work forward.